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Big Leaps For Cannabis In New York & Arizona  - 12 4 2020 10 52 10 AM

Top New York Republican lawmaker believes adult-use legalization will come in 2021

In an interview earlier this week, New York Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R) stated that he believes adult-use legalization will come to NY in 2021, saying, “There’s still back and forth, but I suspect this year this will actually get done.”

It’s an encouraging sign from the state’s top Republican lawmakers. He further commented that he initially thought legalization would come in 2020 but suspects it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) has expressed expectations for adult-use legalization to come in the new year.

Axel Bernabe, Assistant Counsel for Health to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said in October that cannabis legislation would be brought up again through the state budget in January – the goal being to enact recreational legalization by April.

In his past two annual budget requests, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has included proposals for adult-use legalization, however, failed negotiations between his office and the state legislature have stalled those efforts. Adult-use legalization coming to NY increasingly appears to be imminent with bipartisan support from the state government's highest levels.

Arizonans have the go-ahead to use recreational cannabis but can’t yet buy it legally (HRVSF, CURLF, AYRSF)

After AZ Gov. Doug Ducey (R) certified election results Monday, parts of Proposition 207 went into effect, allowing consumers in the state to legally possess the cannabis. However, Arizonans cannot yet legally buy cannabis.

The Arizona Department of Health Services still has ways to form an application process for a recreational dispensary license. The state does have an existing regulatory infrastructure with its robust medical marijuana program, which may expedite the launch of adult-use sales in the state of 7.3 million.

Harvest Health and Recreation CEO Steve White commented, “Arizona, I suspect, is going to be the fastest program from a vote to actual legal, regulated sales, but it's not something that happens overnight.” According to White, regulated adult-use sales could begin in late March to early April.

Companies like Harvest Health with established, vertically integrated operations and a significant retail footprint stand to gain the most from Arizona’s green-lighting recreational.

The first adult-use licenses will likely be issued to existing medical marijuana dispensaries that transition to a dual license with co-located operations.